WHPC recognizes that housing is not an option; it's a necessity. It is the foundation to building a better life. With this in mind, WHPC's properties are located in 58 of Wisconsin's 72 counties, including Wisconsin's severely underserved rural areas, as well as its large urban communities.
The average person living at one of our properties lives at or below the poverty line, with an average annual income of $11,000.
Affordable Housing Fulfills Its Mission
When Carrie divorced her husband in 2006, she and her two young children moved to Edgewater Terrace Apartments in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. She only made $100 per week from her babysitting jobs, but her affordable rent allowed her to get caught up on her overdue bills from the divorce. When her seven year old daughter became friends with the on-site manager, it provided Carrie with a unique opportunity. After they got to know each other, the manager saw Carrie’s solid work ethic and positive relationship with the other residents. When it came time for the manager to move on, she recommended Carrie to take over her position in the building.
Carrie made the transition from neighbor to someone that the residents sought for support. After being on-site manager for a few days, a resident shared some personal troubles and cried on her shoulder. She was taken aback at the respect people gave her. Carrie worked as property manager at Edgewater Terrace for 5 years, until ownership of the property changed.
Carrie was hired full-time with the new management company, Nelson Minahan, in 2014. In September of the same year, she bought her first house and moved out of Edgewater Terrace. Though they’ve moved out, Carrie and her family still have a close bond with the residents of Edgewater Terrace. Her daughter, now a senior in high school, and 13-year old son still go to the property to hang out with the kids they grew up with. Carrie’s bond with the residents will never change: “Because I lived there for so long, Edgewater is like my second home. I care about the tenants so much.”
Through the Fire
One day, Lisa arrived at her home in Chicago to discover that all she had worked for was gone. It had all burned in the fire caused by the unit above hers. However, she still had her most valuable treasures: her four children. With nowhere to go and unable to find available resources for the displaced in Chicago, Lisa moved her family to Milwaukee with nothing but each other.
Lisa found a four-bedroom apartment at Main Street Gardens, one of WHPC’s properties near downtown Milwaukee. After securing an apartment for her family, Lisa enrolled her children in school, worked with the property’s on-site Resource Coordinator to transfer her Foodshare benefits to Milwaukee so she and her family could eat. With generous donations and the help of St. Vincent de Paul, Lisa was able to get some of the items she needed to make her home functional and comfortable for her family.
There were many times that Lisa was overwhelmed, upset and exhausted, but she never gave up. She was motivated to make a difference for her children. Lisa and her family are adjusting well to their new home and lives in Milwaukee. Now that everything has settled, Lisa is continuing to work toward building a better life and is in search of a job so she can create a financially stable life for her and her children.
Building a Better Life Through Education
At 39, Mary, a resident at McKinley Gardens, determined it was time to break her family’s cycle of poverty and build a better life for herself. However, she lacked the necessary skills to obtain a job. Frustrated, yet dedicated, Mary knew she had to go back to school to acquire employable skills.
She enrolled at one of Milwaukee’s local educational institutions and worked diligently to learn, complete assignments and attend recommended job fairs. During her time at school, Mary discovered she was missing a key component for job hunting: a resumé. She reached out to McKinley Garden's on-site Resource Coordinator for assistance on writing a resume and cover letter and applying to jobs online.
After a few weeks of job searching and completing applications, Mary found a job. Along with the new job, she also passed her Pre-Internship at school using the resumé and cover letter she created with the Resource Coordinator. Mary continues to work part-time and further her educational career goals through her schooling.
Building Better Lives
WHPC's properties integrate wrap-around services and activities that benefit our residents. Gardening, backpack drives, and free internet access are three ways WHPC helps communities achieve better lives.